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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic is a toxin (Botulinum Toxin Type A) produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is sterilized, purified by dialysis, vacuum-dried with salt and human albumin (protein) and frozen. It is reconstituted with sterile saline (salt water) prior to injection. Return to the Top
2. How does Botox Cosmetic reduce or eliminate wrinkles?
Botox Cosmetic is effective in reducing dynamic lines of the face. These are lines that occur as a result of contraction of facial muscles. When Botox Cosmetic is injected, it inhibits muscle contraction by interfering with the communication between the muscle and its nerve. Return to the Top
3. How soon after Botox Cosmetic injections do you see results?
Most patients begin to see results 2-3 days after Botox Cosmetic injections. It takes 5-7 days to see maximum benefit. Return to the Top
4. How long do the effects of Botox Cosmetic last?
The reduction of wrinkles usually lasts 3-4 months. Return to the Top
5. How long has Botox Cosmetic been available?
Botox has been used since 1989 for the treatment of spastic muscle disorders. Botox Cosmetic has been available for the treatment of facial wrinkles since 2002. Return to the Top
6. Is Botox Cosmetic approved by the FDA?
On April 15, 2002, the FDA approved Botox Cosmetic for cosmetic treatment of lines between the brows (glabellar frown lines). Although Botox Cosmetic is also used for other lines such as crow's feet and transverse forehead lines. Its use in those areas is considered an "off-label" use. Return to the Top
7. Can you get botulism from Botox Cosmetic injections?
No. In order to get botulism, you must be infected with the bacterium that produces the toxin. Botox Cosmetic is composed or purified toxin and does not contain the bacteria. Return to the Top
8. Can anyone get Botox Cosmetic injections?
Botox Cosmetic is not approved for pediatric use and should not be used in pregnant women. It must be used with caution in patients with muscular diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) or neuromuscular disorders such as Myasthenia Gravis or Eaton-Lambert Syndrome. Return to the Top
Since each vial of Botox Cosmetic contains 0.5mg of human albumin, Jehovah's Witness patients may have a religious aversion to Botox injections. Return to the Top
Although Botox Cosmetic can also be used in the elderly, studies show that it is not quite as effective in patients over the age of 65. Return to the Top
9. Are there any risks to Botox Cosmetic injections?
As with any injections, it is possible to get a small bruise from the needle. It is best to avoid aspirin products or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen for several days prior to injections.
When treating the forehead or brow area, if Botox Cosmetic reaches down into the eyelid muscle, it could cause temporary drooping of the eyelid. Treatment involves placing drops in the eye allowing elevation of the lid until the Botox Cosmetic wears off. In those rare instances, since generally only a small amount of toxin actually reaches the eyelid muscle, the drooping lid usually resolves in just a few weeks rather than the 3-4 months that it lasts in the brow muscle. Return to the Top
10. Are there any instructions to follow after getting Botox Cosmetic injections?
Avoid rubbing the area that was injected for several hours. This helps to prevent Botox Cosmetic from migrating away from the intended area into unwanted areas such as the eyelid. It is also recommended that you do not do a strenuous workout within a few hours of injection. Return to the Top
11. Should I wait until my Botox Cosmetic wears off completely before getting another injection?
There are no hard and fast rules about how long to wait between injections. Many patients say that, if they get their next injection before their last injection wears off completely, the next treatment seems to last longer. Return to the Top
12. Is it true that Botox Cosmetic injections can help with Migraine headaches?
Many patients with muscle tension and migraine headaches get significant relief from their headaches with Botox Cosmetic injections. Botox Cosmetic is not approved by the FDA for treatment of headaches. Return to the Top
13. What else is Botox Cosmetic effective in treating?
Botox Cosmetic injections have been found to effective in treating a variety of other conditions, however, he FDA has not approved it for these purposes. These include reducing the spasticity of muscles following a stroke, treatment of excessive sweating of the palms and soles, and reduction of masseter muscle hypertrophy. The latter is a condition where the muscle which closes the jaw becomes abnormally enlarged causing prominence of the lower cheeks. It is also used for abnormal twitching of the chin or eyelids and can improve facial symmetry. Botox Cosmetic? has also been found to be effective in treating dimpling of the chin. Return to the Top
14. Is the muscle completely paralyzed by Botox Cosmetic?
Some residual motion of the corrugator supercilii (brow) muscle may still exist after Botox Cosmetic injections. It is usually the lower portion of the muscle that still functions because injections done too close to the brow could result in drooping (ptosis) of the eyelid. Return to the Top
15. If my lines don't go away completely after Botox Cosmetic injections, is there something else that can be done?
Yes. If frown lines are not completely eliminated following Botox Cosmetic injections, the creases can be further treated with dermal fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, freeze-dried fascia or a variety of other injectables. It is best to wait until the full effect of the Botox Cosmetic is present before having other injections (about one week). Return to the Top
16. What happened to those people in Florida who got sick from Botox Cosmetic injections?
Those patients did not actually get Botox Cosmetic injections. They received a very concentrated form of botulinum toxin that was for animal experimental use only and was not intended for human use. Unfortunately, the physician who used the product was unaware of the concentration and these patients received something like 200 times the normal dose. Return to the Top